The LA Chargers host the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3 in a game that has quite the quarterback storyline. Justin Herbert was banged up in Week 2's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, suffering fracture rib cartilage in the process.
Herbert's official diagnosis is day-to-day but the prospects of the young quarterback playing in Week 3 look promising. If he does play, Herbert will be squaring off against one of the few quarterbacks in the league that are younger than him in Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence is in his second season after a disastrous rookie season with Urban Meyer and things already look better in 2022. The Jags are 1-1 on the season and Lawrence has played much better in year two than in year one.
The Chargers are still more talented than the Jaguars but Jacksonville cannot be slept on like in previous years. This is a more cohesive and talented team and if the Chargers underestimate them, especially if Herbert is not 100%, then they will get punched in the mouth.
What makes this matchup potentially even more frightening for the Chargers is the uncanny comparison between Lawrence and another first-overall pick, Peyton Manning. Like Manning, Lawrence has started his NFL career with an 0-9 record on the road. Manning won his 10th road game... in a similar week... against a similar opponent...
Look, I know some fans are not superstitious while other fans are extremely superstitious. While this 2022 Chargers team is miles better than the 1999 Chargers, it is crazy that the stars are literally aligning in such a way. Sports tend to repeat themselves, especially when it is supernatural things like this.
There definitely is a path for the Jaguars to shock the Chargers in this game.
If Justin Herbert does not play then the Jaguars should probably be favored against the Chargers. As good as the roster is, I just cannot trust a team piloted by Chase Daniel to beat another professional football team in the year 2022.
Even if Herbert plays the Jaguars have a reason to be optimistic in this matchup whereas a year ago the Chargers would have had all the confidence in the world. Jacksonville has a pretty nasty defensive front that can get pressure on the quarterback.
The Chargers are also dealing with offensive line injuries and are obviously going to want to protect Herbert as much as they can as well. As a result, we could see a much more timid Chargers offense that does not put up the points we are used to seeing.
The Chargers' defense is legit, but all it takes is 1-2 big plays or big special teams moments to swing the game in favor of Jacksonville. They will not downright outplay the Chargers, but there is a path to victory, unfortunately.
Back in 1999, the Chargers lost 27-19 to Peyton Manning and the Colts. Manning completed 29 of 54 attempts for 404 yards and two touchdowns. Hopefully, this game goes differently for the Bolts.